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VW Camper Research

27 Jan

Well… Marilyn found a book at the Chicago Public Library it is called VW Camper – The Inside Story by David Eccles. This comprehensive book helped us sort out the Westfalia from the Sundial to a Riveria.

From that book we learned . . . .

In 1951 Westfalia introduced the first VW camper. This camper had removable parts that could be used in the home for house guests! By 1955, Westfalia was producing fully converted buses and in 1959 brought the SO23 to market.

Other companies that were also doing the bus conversions were Devon (1957), Moortown (1958), Dormobile (1961), and finally the Danbury (1964). One thing we found interesting is that during the 60’s only Devon, Dormobile, Danbury, and Westfalia were officially recognized by VW. Other conversion companies had separate warranties.

In the 1960’s, the popularity of the Westfalia out sold the supply in North America. This led to other conversion companies entering the VW camper market such as EZ Campers, Sundial, Riveria, and Road Runner. These companies based their designs off of the Westfalia interiors.

EZ Campers began converting panel vans in 1963/64. There is also a webpage that out lines the history of the EZ Camper that is quite informative. This fellow even has replacement ID tags for your conversion. One of the models, the El Viajero looked very similar to the Sundial, however, the EZ was more luxurious. The 1965 EZ was based on the Kombi. This conversion featured 6 “pop-out” windows and birch panels instead of the EZ grooved style panel

Riviera / ASI

riviera1

This dealership in Beaverton Oregon partnered with ASI (Automotive Services, Inc) in Vancouver Washington in 1965 to product a VW conversion to help offset the tight supply of Westfalia buses. These buses were .. just like te EZ Campers, based on the Westfalia. Since there are no serial numbers on these conversions it is unknown how many were produced. Most of the buses produced by this partnership were walkthrough panel vans. ASI also allowed customers to bring in their own buses for conversion, which would explain Riviera’s that are pre-1965. One of the obvious characteristics of these buses were the long “picture window” in either a slider or jalousie. The single windows were different that the Sundial and the EZ in that they were sliders instead of flipping open. The interiors were made from lightly stained birchwood. Some of these buses came with “pop-tops” from Sportsmobile in Elkhart Indiana. The Riviera Registry has more information on pre-1968 buses

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14 Comments

Posted by on January 27, 2008 in the begining

 

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14 responses to “VW Camper Research

  1. Taylor

    August 13, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    I appreciate the link to the Riviera Registry, but remember it’s spelled “Riviera” not “Riveria”.

     
  2. ernie berry

    August 26, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    i need help,im looking for interior pictures or designs for a 70 sundial high roof, non pop camper. my buddy has one and i cant find any info.

     
    • busjunkie

      September 18, 2009 at 10:45 am

      Let me see what I can find. I met a guy a month ago that had a restored 66 an had more info. I will try to find out if he has any info on yours.

       
  3. don campbell

    October 12, 2009 at 7:56 am

    any info on 1978 vw lt28 devon royalty have owned one for 8 years now its tired and needs some TLC

     
  4. busjunkie

    October 15, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    No I don’t sorry….. All of my research was done on Splitties.

     
  5. bbking

    October 16, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    I bought a 63 split in 1969,,,EZ canper….Love it,,,,I am looking for replacement panneling…..The original says made in Sweden..any leads to something close????? Thanks Bob

     
    • busjunkie

      February 21, 2010 at 9:05 am

      The ones that I have saw had maple looking wood. I would just look for something that matches.

       
      • bbking

        May 4, 2010 at 7:00 pm

        Thanks, I found a good match..I need a bulkhead,,I cut mine to make a walk-through,,1973…any leads for a replacement?? BBKING

         
  6. John DeLario

    November 29, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Thanks for your information.

    I have a 1966 VW camper I have owned since 1972. I bought it in high school. The camper conversion was done by “Campers of America”. I was wondering if you came across any info on this company?

    Thanks in advance for your time in responding.

    John

     
    • busjunkie

      December 1, 2009 at 4:10 pm

      Hi John…. No I have never heard of Campers of America. I wil look into them. Thanks for asking.

      Tim

       
    • TenKeyAce

      March 7, 2010 at 4:33 pm

      I have a 67 Kombi conversion. It’s mfr plate says EZ Camper of America Inc. (the full legal name of EZ Camper, I guess)

       
  7. Bob King

    September 15, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I have a 63 split with an EZ camper…I am looking for original (Orange/Pasley/ Vinyl) material to do some repair work on the seats in the back…Any leads?? thanks, Bob

     
  8. meb

    March 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I was searching MSN and I came across your website. I am very glad I did, you have a lot of very good information here. I also love your layout, you have made it very simple to find everything. I have bookmarked your site and I will return shortly. Keep up the great work. Thanks

     
  9. andy

    December 8, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    i need a walk through bulkhead to convert my 66 dbl cab

     

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